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E coli in Swansea

23rd November 2011

Health officials in Swansea have confirmed the deaths of two premature babies after they contracted an E coli infection.

Bacteria

A premature baby contracted ESBL E coli at the Singleton hospital while the other baby picked up the infection in the community.

However, doctors have said the two cases are connected and are being investigated.

An inquest has been started into the death of baby Hope Erin Evans who died at five days old at the hospital on 4 November.

Extended Spectrum Beta Lactamase (ESBL)  E coli is a different type of infection than the E coli O157 which commonly leads to food poisoning.

Abertawe Bro Morgannwg (ABM) University Health Board said three other cases had been confirmed but were not fatal and appeared to be individual infections.

The board's medical director Dr Bruce Ferguson said: "Tests have confirmed that in one of these cases the ESBL E coli infection was contracted in the hospital. Sadly, this was a very premature baby who, despite the best efforts of staff, later died."

He stated that the baby's death was the subject of an investigation by the coroner and "everyone involved with the unit and in the care of this baby deeply regret this tragic loss". 

Dr Ferguson said women expecting to give birth at the hospital should not be worried and the maternity unit remained open.

He added: "These appear to be isolated incidents which have been contained, and there is no evidence of the infection spreading further. Checks have been taken of patients, equipment and areas in the maternity/neonatal unit and no evidence of ESBL E coli has been found."

 

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